There are lots of things that we can do to lose weight. We can exercise more or exercise harder. We can eat less food. We can try low-carb or low-fat diets. We can detox. But all of those things require work, desire and will power. While I am fully in favor of a good diet and exercise program, especially if you need to lose weight, I also stay on the lookout for research that makes the task of losing weight a bit easier. And I recently stumbled upon a study that will help you do just that.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition looked at the differences in supplementing with whey protein, soy protein and carbohydrate drinks. And what they found is pretty amazing. First, they showed that all calories are not the same when it comes to weight loss. Protein seems to have a more positive effect where carbohydrates have a negative effect on weight. I think a lot of people might already know that or at least assume that to be the case. But the other findings were even more impressive. The study found that all proteins are not equal when looking at changes in weight and body composition. Whey protein far out performed soy protein for both weight loss and fat loss. So, a calorie is NOT a calorie. And protein is NOT protein. It depends on the type of calorie and the type of protein you consume.
Read the study here: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/early/2011/06/15/jn.111.139840.abstract
When comparing the whey protein group to the carbohydrate group, the whey protein group finished the study weighing on average 3.96 lbs less than carbohydrate group. More importantly was the type of weight that was lost. The whey protein group ended the study with an average of 5.06 lbs less body fat than the carbohydrate group. In other words, fat loss was even greater than the total weight loss in the whey protein group! This is due to another benefit of whey protein which is muscle maintenance. When compared to the carbohydrate group, the whey protein group maintained 1.1 additional pounds of lean muscle. By the end of the study the whey protein group also recorded an average of 1 inch smaller waist than did the carbohydrate group. The soy protein group was not significantly different than the carbohydrate group on any of the body composition measurements. So whey protein was shown to be superior in weight loss, fat loss, inches off the waist and muscle maintenance when compared to soy protein or carbohydrate supplements.
A possible explanation for the positive effects of whey protein could be due to some additional findings in the study. They found that an appetite controlling hormone called ghrelin was significantly improved in the whey protein group when compared to the soy protein group or the carbohydrate group. Over the long run, those who consume whey protein may have reduced cravings and appetite which can make dieting and weight loss much easier and more successful.
-Dr. Jeremy Webster
Weight Loss and Nutrition Expert
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